A glass of water doesn’t weigh much. Its not strenuous to even hold it for a little while. But what if you had to hold that glass all day, all week, for months? That glass would make your hand cramp up. You might even drop it, spilling the water all over the floor, making one hell of a mess. Stress and anxiety is like holding a glass of water. Its not so bad for a bit, but after awhile it can be crushing and painful.
Darlene is finished with treatment. They have declared her to be cancer free and she is in the recovery stage of this strange chapter of her life. Recovery from chemo, surgery, and radiation can take up to 18 months and some side effects will stay with her forever possibly. Since the surgeon had to take out lymph nodes in her arm, she was told she was not going to have full mobility ever again. Well this was just never going to be a good thing to say to Darlene. Telling her she can’t do something, well, you might as well shove your head in the sand to begin with because shes about to prove you wrong. Darlene already gained back full mobility of her arm just 4 months after surgery. Shes been swimming, taking yoga classes, taking zumba classes, going bowling, and going for walks with both of our dogs. She looks fantastic and she says that her smell is coming back (watch out for puppy farts!) so she enjoys food much more now. She is not merely surviving, shes THRIVING.
So, we are finally setting down our glass of water. Sometimes I find myself picking it back up, worrying about anything and everything. But I look at my mom’s happy demeanor and fight to kick major ass, and I promptly chuck that glass out the window.
Throughout this whole thing the one lesson (out of many) that has rung true is that life is too short to be doing something you hate. I became inspired and decided to dive in, full time, to dedicate myself to my artwork and writing. I’ve become a freelance writer and blogger. I’ve actually used this blog as examples of my work to land clients. During the past 10 months I’ve learned new coping skills, such as working on my art non-stop. This has turned into an extremely positive experience for me. There is something magical about taking adversity and using it to do amazing things.
My dad recently passed away in June and when people found out they reached out to me to see if I was alright. I had a good friend, Justice, message me on Facebook and he said something so amazing to me, it really stuck. He said, “Dani, you are still here, and you are amazing. Go do amazing things because you are still here.”
That’s right, we ARE still here and we can choose to take uncertainty and adversity and use that against ourselves or it can be our ladder to greatness. So we are choosing success and greatness by using our deeper understanding of the world and this existence as a stepping stone to our dreams. We are letting our struggles become our foundation to lift us up instead of crushing us down. And there’s really no secret to it. All you need to do is set down your goddamned glass of water and step up onto the newly poured foundation and start building the life you imagine.
See you in the sunshine, my friends.